Family Gras 2016 to feature The Band Perry, Dr. John, the Monkees _lowres

Photo provided by Nola ChristmasFest -- Imagination Movers -- The Imagination Movers, who focus on children's music, will perform a Christmas-themed show at NOLA Christmas Fest in the District at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The show starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

JAZZ & HERITAGE CENTER: Saxophonist Edward “Kidd” Jordan will be one of the performers in a gala concert when the new Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation celebrates the grand opening of the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the center, 1225 N. Rampart St.

The center will be used for the Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, which has operated on local university campuses since Jordan founded the school in 1990. The center also will serve as the location for many programs and events produced by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation. It will be available for other community arts organizations for classes and events. The building has seven classrooms (including dedicated labs for piano and drums) and a 200-seat performance hall.

Joining Jordan on stage at the grand opening will be four of his musical children: Kent, Marlon, Stephanie and Rachel Jordan. Tickets to the grand opening concert are free, but seating is limited, so reservations are required. For tickets, visit

MARINE CORP BAND: The Marine Corps Band performs a free concert 2014 Holiday Concert at 6 p.m. Friday Dec. 12 at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The 41st annual Tuba Christmas “Heavy Artillery” concert will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Washington Artillery Park. The Tuba and Euphonium Marines and the Enlisted Conductor of the Marine Corps Band New Orleans with support from community musicians will present this year’s Tuba Christmas.

For information, contact Michael Maschmeier at or call (757) 773-5477 or Matthew Hedrick at (504) 390-9152.

COASTAL FOREST RESTORATION: Volunteers will join to plant 300 native trees in the Caernarvon Diversion outfall in Braithwaite from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, as part of a coastal forest restoration project sponsored by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

The trees planted in this area of new land will help increase soil retention and promote more land growth

Volunteers will be transported to the planting site via air boat. Directions and additional details will be provided to registered volunteers via email prior to the event. The minimum age for volunteers is 10, and all minors must be accompanied by an adult. To register, visit For information, contact volunteer coordinator Jenny Byrd at

LIGHTS AT THE LAKE: The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will hold a Lights at the Lake party and location for viewing of the Christmas boat parade from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the New Canal Lighthouse, 8001 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans. Choirs from local schools will carol until the Christmas boat parade passes by. Santa will pay a visit, and there will be hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy. Admission to the event is free, and there will be a discounted tour of the museum. For information, call (504) 836-2205 or visit www.saveour

NOLA CHRISTMAS FEST: A gingerbread house competition benefiting Operation Homefront will be a highlight of NOLA Christmas Fest, which will take place in the Great Hall of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from Friday, Dec. 12, through Wednesday, Dec. 24.

The convention center is presenting the event as part of its New Orleans Christmas in the District program, which is part of its mission to bring visitors to town.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is organizing the gingerbread house competition. Visitors will drop money in the voting box for their favorite house, with all proceeds going to help service members’ families.

Community stages will feature Christmas entertainment, cooking demonstrations, puppet shows and choirs. Special events will include a children’s lantern parade on Fulton Street at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and a dog costume contest and parade Dec. 14.

NOLA Christmas Fest hours are from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 15-19; from noon to 9 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20-23; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24. The event website is

FREE PET MICROCHIPS: Orleans Parish residents who schedule an appointment for their pets to be spayed or neutered at the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic through Dec. 15 will receive a free microchip at the time of surgery. The Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic is at 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans.

To make an appointment, call the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic at (504) 363-1333. This promotion is available through grant funding and is available only to residents of Orleans Parish. For information visit

ALGIERS KIWANIS: Bethany Paulson, executive director of the Tipitina’s Foundation, will be the guest speaker when the Kiwanis Club of Algiers meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Aurora Tennis and Swim Club, 5244 Gen. Meyer. Guests are welcome at the Kiwanis meeting. For information, call (504) 391-0667.

HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE: Hardee’s restaurants in Chalmette, Marrero and Mandeville are among those participating in the Hardee’s Heroes holiday toy drive. Through Dec. 19, the restaurants will be collecting donations of unwrapped children’s toys for distribution to the families of Louisiana service members and veterans through the Louisiana Heroes Project.

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR: Patio Planters of the Vieux Carré is presenting a French Quarter holiday home tour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21.

Tickets for the self-guided tour are $20, with children under 12 admitted free. Tickets are will be available prior to the tour at Creole Delicacies, 533 St. Ann Street (cash or check); and at French Quarter Gem & Lapidary, 527 St. Philip Street, (888) 756-6250 (cash, check or credit card).

FRENCH QUARTER BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: The French Quarter Business Association will hold its installation and awards dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, in the grand ball room of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., New Orleans. Tickets are $75. For information, visit